Entertainment

Say Hello To America Chavez, The Badass Queer Latina Marvel Superhero

CREDIT: JOHNNYROCWELL / MARVEL

America Chavez has been living in the Marvel world for a while, but until now she’s never had the chance to move out on her own. Chavez’s introduction came in the 2011 run of “Vengeance,” where she took over the role of Miss America. In 2013, she joined the “Young Avengers,” then moved on to a few other factions, where she developed a nice following with fans. Now America Chavez is ready to star in her own adventure, written by “Quirky Rican” herself, Gabby Rivera, creator of “Juliet Takes A Breath” – one of the finest books to come out of the LGBTQ community this year. Refinery29 recently sat down with Rivera to discuss the future of America Chavez, as well as other things. Here’s a quick look at how it went down.

How excited was Rivera to hear from Marvel?

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Needless to say, she was very excited.

“I got an email from Marvel when I was at work. And I was like, whaaat? What?! And the office is all quiet, everyone’s just like click-clacking away and I just left and I called my mom and I was like “Mom!! I got an email from Marvel!” My voice went up 48 octaves.”

Though Gabby wasn’t familiar with America Chavez at first, she quickly immersed herself into the Latina superhero’s world.

Rivera explained her lack of familiarity with America, saying:

“I have to be honest and say, I thought, maybe there wasn’t space for me in comics.” Rivera talked to Chavez’s creators as well as fans, to get an idea of the characters.

Rivera described the process, “I was able to get an idea of what fans of America would want, her stellar moments and where there was excitement around her character. And I was able to pull those thoughts into a first outline.”

How does Rivera see her version of America Chavez?

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Rivera explained that “America doesn’t know how powerful she is, but she’s gonna find out. And the powers she does have are going to be expanded upon and she’s going to learn how to control and develop them.”

But she’s not just a kickass Latina superhero, Rivera wanted get inside the mind of Chavez, to figure out what motivates her.

“So my thinking for this new book is that she’s finally asking herself that question: What’s in it for me? Why am I fighting with these people?”

To answer this question, Rivera looked at herself and asked what was important her her.

A row of America because she's iconic!

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“What I want is to go to college and I want to start over, and I want to learn about myself and do this for myself. And so that is the big thing that I was thinking about. What’s more American than trying to go to college and trying to find yourself?” Of course, nothing is easy for a superhero.

Marvel tapped Rivera because of her book “Juliet Takes A Breath,” which has received glowing reviews in and out of the LGBTQ community.

CREDIT: QUIRKYRICAN / TWITTER

To tell America Chavez’s story, Marvel knew they would need someone who could tap into the queer female experience, while also giving life to the character. Rivera’s “Juliet Takes A Breath” is exactly that, described by reviewers as, “transformative,” “the voice we so desperately need in genre fiction,” and a “vital part of the intersectional LGBTQ literary movement.” Rivera makes no excuses or apologies when writing, putting the story ahead of everything else.

Of course, Rivera’s sexual identity plays an important role in the stories she tells, but that’s what makes her even more perfect for America Chavez.

CREDIT: THEMEGASHEEN / TWITTER

Rivera explains, “I love women. I love myself. I feel like sometimes I’m not considered a woman. People assume I’m a masculine kind of person because I wear hats or boots. And to me, womanhood is so flexible and so ever-expanding and how beautiful is it to show all the ways that it manifests.”

Check out the entire interview at Refinery29.

READ: Gina Rodriguez’s Fans Are Asking Marvel To Make Her The Next Miss America Superhero

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A Mexican Graphic Designer Gave The Marvel Universe And Unexpected And Incredible Lotería Upgrade

Entertainment

A Mexican Graphic Designer Gave The Marvel Universe And Unexpected And Incredible Lotería Upgrade

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

In this edition of ‘take all my money,’ Luis Nuñez, 24, a graphic designer based in Mazatlán, Sinaloa Mexico has given us the gift of recreating Lotería to incorporate the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe. Moviegoers who fell in love with Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, and Groot get to see the characters in a whole light on Nuñez’s Instagram account (@luis.nunez07).

What started off with one image has ballooned to 18—and Nuñez has no plans to stop until the set is complete with all 54 titles. So far he’s finished 32 illustrations which he plans to unveil on his Instagram account in the weeks to come.

Which begs the question, where’s the link to his Etsy shop so we can buy our own set once it’s complete?

See the cards for yourself below. And if you haven’t seen the movie yet (what kind of fan are you?) prepare for spoilers and inside jokes ahead:

Nuñez kicked off his project with Ironman as el valiente.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

Honestly, this is a solid choice here. He is one of the greatest characters in the Marvel universe. What a solid and engaging art project focused on one of the greatest superhero franchises in the world.

Don’t sleep on the details. A second image in the post includes a tighter focus on Tony’s own infinity gauntlet.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

Iron Man kicked off the series and if you’ve watched the last installment, you know how the story ends. Tony Stark as el valiente is a fitting tribute. 

The hand that undid the Avengers.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

The film starts where Thanos left off—in the aftermath of the devastating snap. If you know, you know. And if you don’t know, then you know because everyone is still talking about the movie.

The artist even gave us the answer to Thanos’s devastating hand.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

But always a schemer, Iron Man constructs his own infinity gauntlet and outmaneuvers the psychopath.

Thor gets called out on his drinking problem.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

The god of lightning had a rough go at the start of the film. He buried his pain with alcohol and had the beer belly to prove it.

Duh, of course Peter Parker is la araña.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

Nuñez depicts Spider-Man with his enhanced super suit. He says each image takes him 30-60 minutes to complete.

And who could forget the heart-wrenching moment when Parker begins to crumble and turn to dust?

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

Clearly, Nuñez doesn’t want you to and provided this twofer when creating la araña.

Only the strongest Avenger can carry the world.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

Nuñez is clearly team Hulk when it comes to the argument of who the strongest Avenger is. Thor might have something to say about this. 

All the feels with this throwback to Tony’s heart.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

He knew this would fit so perfectly within the context of Lotería.

Who better to represent ‘the soldier’ than Captain America.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

The second movie in the Captain America canon is called “Winter Soldier.” 

Of course, Thanos is the devil.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

There’s no one better suited to embody el diablo than the man responsible for killing his daughter and wiping out half of Earth’s population.

When you’re as well-groomed and presentable as Doctor Strange (on teetering on being pretentious) El Catrin is the only card that makes sense.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

It’s funny to see how well the Marvel characters fit into la Lotería. Doctor Strange begins with a shot of his fancy clothes and accessories. He never loses his flair for appearances as evident by his high-neck flowing cape. 

Black Widow is the obvious choice for the lady card.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

The franchise needed more women in it. No secret there.

Guardians of the Galaxy was defined by its soundtrack. Peter Quill wearing his Walkman makes the perfect musico.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

Music was Peter Quill. Who could forget the ’60s and the ’70s soundtrack that included Hooked on a Feeling and all his out of tune singing?

Teenage Groot still has some years to go before growing into a tree.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

Adult Groot sacrificed himself for the Guardians. When we see him again, he’s a mere sapling but well on his way to growing into a sturdy arbol.

Clint Barton, complete with his f*ckboi haircut, is El Apache.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

Hawkeye might not be Native American, but with a bow and arrow in hand, he has an eerie resemblance to the original image of el apache.

El Gorrito gets a massive metal make-over. 

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

No frill bonnet to be seen here. El Gorrito has redesigned to include Thor’s comic book version of his helmet, which makes a brief cameo during Ragnarok. 

Groot’s home gets a shout-out.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

Baby Groot was a fan favorite. It’s only right he make an appearance in the flower pot card.

Why Red Skull was the keeper of the Soul Stone still feels like a mystery but at least it makes sense here.

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

The skull with crossbones has been swapped out for the Hydra symbol with Red Skull sitting at its center.

Falcon may fit the pajaro card perfectly at the start of Endgame…

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

…But by the end of it, he’s received a major upgrade. We might be looking at the new face of the Captain America canon here folks.

Only royalty wears a crown…

Credit: luis.nunez07 / Instagram

…So it’s appropriate for King T’Challa’s Black Panther to take la corona.

Keep an eye Nuñez’s Instagram account (@luis.nunez07) for the remaining 36 illustrations. 

READ: Marvel Is Bringing More LGBTQ Characters To The Universe

Marvel Is Bringing More LGBTQ Characters To The Universe

Fierce

Marvel Is Bringing More LGBTQ Characters To The Universe

When you’ve taken up the task of representing an entire universe, there’s quite a bit of responsibility to depict diversity on your shoulders. While the Disney-owned division of Marvel Studios has recently, ahem and also very slowly, ramped up its efforts to portray the diversities that exist in our immediate world through projects and characters like “Black Panther”  their spotlight has all but completely passed over LGBTQ+ heroes and heroines. Sure, sure, the studio has trifled with and indulged our imaginations hinting at a few flirty exchanges and off-screen relationships (no, but really you think they’re just chilling at Themyscira? Nothing else? Come now.) but the representation of LTBQ characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been pretty less than super. It’s why this latest bit of news straight from the studio’s president has fans reeling.

According to a recent interview with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, the franchise’s upcoming films are about to get a lot more LGBTQ+ love.

Feige might have confirmed suspicions that Valkyrie was the first out character in MCU last year.

Of course, Tessa Thompson who portrayed the difficult to injure character already asserted that Valkyrie was bisexual last year after she made her MCU debut. Feige, on the other hand, seemed to be pretty tight-lipped about new developments in the series but he did confirm that at least two LGBTQ characters will appear in future Marvel films he also said that ‘yes’ we’ve already met one of the characters before.

Now, there’s no guarantee that Valkyrie is the character that Feige was talking about. After all, whether or not she’ll actually even be in the MCU pics to come is still up in the air and LBR it would be pretty awesome if Loki got a chance to soak in the rainbow light too. Still, fans are keeping their fingers crossed that Marvel will give us LGBTQ women of color, a true rarity in both superhero and non-sci-fi fantasy worlds if we’re being real.

Whichever LGBTQ+ character MCU chooses to celebrate, fans who’ve added over 6.6 billion U.S. dollars in the franchise deserve this.

Here’s hoping Feige stays true to his words and ensures that we get characters that add diversity and depth to the series rather than just tokenism. Also, just two out LGBTQ characters is not enough. So here’s hoping Marvel works their power and brings more representation all around.


Read: How These Queer Latinxs Use Their Wardrobes To Disrupt Social Norms

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